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The world of Warda is home to many fascinating and diverse races, each one unique and special in their appearance, ability, and status within the social hierarchy of the realm.

Seelie are the pinnacle, the ultimate peak of creation. It is the Seelie who led the way from the World That Was into the world of Warda, and it is the Seelie who reshaped the face of Warda to suit their needs and wishes. They are the ultimate magical beings, and there are some who even go so far as to theorize that they are actually deities, surpassing the other fey in every way. They are strong, powerful, and they live for thousands of years. The first Dair, Ammin (for whom the city of Ammingrad and the under-city of Amminheim are named) was several thousand years old when he led the fey into Warda, and now his son, Olghar, is the Dair of all that is.

Seelie are not commonly seen in Warda as there are only about twenty of them alive currently. Many of them hold positions of power in various guilds, businesses, and organizations throughout Ammingrad. Although they continue to have a hand in what goes on in the city, many do not make public appearances regularly, least of all the Dair, the Mab, and their children. Should one have the honor of seeing one of the royal family or indeed any other Seelie, one would likely be first and foremost averting one’s eyes in a display of obsequiousness. After such point as it is polite to look up again, one would see that Seelie stand between five and six and a half feet tall on average, much like any other fey. Their skin is usually a silvery white, as is their hair, although there may be faint hints of other colors in their features. They are fine-boned and possess truly the greatest beauty to be seen anywhere in the world, with slender, sculpted faces and long, delicate hands. Their eyes, however, tend to be a rich and vibrant gold, unsettling and unyielding.

Their lifespans, as mentioned, are incredibly long even for fey. They do not reproduce as frequently as other fey do, some going hundreds and hundreds of years before bearing children, if at all. There is speculation that they can control their reproductive cycles – that is, control when and if a child is created from any union they may engage in. That being said, it is likely that Seelie engage in any and all manner of activity they so please with little care for repercussions to their actions.

As one may assume from this overview, Seelie are much set apart from the rest of the fey of Warda – they spend most of their time interacting with one another and living in luxury within the walls of the Ivoryglade, the Seelie district which is included within the walls of the Dair’s palace. Although much of modern society is now used to their ‘invisible’ royalty, there is really no telling when that might change. The Dair is not a fickle ruler, but his Seelie family may be growing restless up in their high towers, eager for something new. There’s no telling what the winds of change will bring.

Ifriti are a race of elemental fey based in fire. They tend to be tall, strong, muscular creatures with their most astonishing physical features being a set of horns on their head and piercing, yellow-gold eyes. Their skin colors range from pale ash to black as night, and their hair might be any hue of flame: gold, yellow, red, orange, even blue or white on occasion. Their horns are usually black bone, sometimes spiraled, sometimes twisted, sometimes like a ram’s, sometimes like an antelope’s. They have pronounced, angular facial features. Their chosen sense is hearing; their love of sound is particular and deeply felt. An Ifriti home is incomplete without a different kind of chime on every clock, a different bell at every door, and a wide variety of musical instruments readily available.

Their high house is House Ardeo, led by the incomparable Luminessa Ardeo, one of the primary directors of the Mechanica Guild. Her husband Mephanis is a pacifist, a gentle scholar who heads a dueling club called The Lantern House, where students do not just indulge in defensive martial arts but also debates of philosophy, theology, and other intellectual pursuits. Their studies are called the Flickering Flame, and are widely regarded by sporting duelists to be a joke, although academics find the combination of study and physical discipline fascinating. They have two children, Cindra and Caspher. Cindra is apprenticed to Troubadour Van Claude, a popular Weather Master, and Caspher is a brooding artist; although Caspher’s knack for mechanics follows his mother’s skillset, he uses it for sculpture, art, and other expressions rather than for utility or function.

Ifriti childbirth is a high pressure affair, to say the least. There is a great deal of care taken to ensure the mother is kept as warm as possible. She usually undergoes a kind of fever which gives her a chill, thus requiring extra layers, blankets, hot furnaces, stoked fires, and so on. After three months of pregnancy, the Ifriti mother will descend into the lowest room of her house, or perhaps a local birthing kiln, specially furnished for such times with an extraordinary furnace, carefully selected stones and ash, everything to keep the mother hot and comfortable. After another week or so she will give birth to the child. Ifriti are not known to have twins or other multiples, but their gestation is so short that they may have more children in quick succession. An Ifriti child’s horns begin to grow in around age ten.

An Ifriti may live to be 500, if they’re healthy. When an ancient Ifriti prepares for their passing, a great event is held in which their friends, family, and neighbors may come to visit, say goodbye, and offer something to ease the passing: perhaps a favorite flower, a bit of music, a taste of their favorite dessert. During the event, the Ifriti sits or lies on a special hearth-chair, growing hotter and hotter, flames dancing along their skin and hair. At last, when all goodbyes have been said and felt, the Ifriti allows itself to ignite, with all of the visitors and well-wishers watching. When they are gone, there is nothing left but cold charcoal, which is then used by the family to prepare for the next birth in the house. Their deaths usually result in a great deal of cold charcoal, which is why they ideally lie down in a special hearth before passing. Essentially, Ifriti are capable of creating their own funeral pyres.

Sylvani are the earth- and plant-based fey of Warda. They are physically reminiscent of various plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and occasionally like rock or stone. Rarely a Sylvani will be born with rock or earth as a part of their anatomy. This is incredibly rare but is seen as a blessing as these Sylvani are strong, more hale and have better endurance. However, the limb that is rock has no sensory feeling and the owner of this condition will need to undergo special training to learn how to function with a “phantom limb.” The chosen sense of the Sylvani people is touch – their world is colored by texture and tactile sensation. It’s said that a Sylvani can learn to understand almost anything by touching or holding it, and they are skilled at identifying things simply by brushing their fingers along an object – a useful skill for a scholar, Warden, or scientist of any kind.

Sylvani reproduction is similar in many ways to human intercourse – but when conception takes place, one of the parents (gender is no object; it is randomly selected which partner will carry the seeds each time) carries the seed pods within their womb for six months, then plants the seedlings in soil. There the seedlings remain for a year, absorbing nutrients from the earth, and after the year ends, the seedlings sprout up and are gathered up by their parents and/or nursemaids. (This is why their natal day celebration is generally referred to as a ‘harvestday’ instead of a ‘birthday.’) There are a number of planting houses within the kingdom that could be used for the planting of those seeds, but space is limited and must be reserved in advance. A poorer parent might have to settle for a flowerpot in their own home – but the nutrients will be significantly less than if the child were planted outside or in a proper plant house.

A Sylvani generally lives to be between 230 and 290 years of age, if well-watered and kept in proper conditions.

The Sylvani high house is called Gainoor. House Gainoor is in charge of the Water Guild. The animosity between House Sareine and House Gainoor is fiercest at the top of the chain; the Sylvani lower houses do not carry so much bloodlust as the Houses Gainoor and Sareine do.

The Naiadi are the water elemental fey of Warda. Their high house is House Sareine, led by Lord Lutado Sareine, infamous for being a shrewd businessman and a mysterious, aloof father to seven sons and one daughter. Lord Lutado is head of the Agricultural Guild of Warda (see the Guild pages for more information about this seemingly unusual alignment of water fey and earth-business).

Naiadi life spans can be as long as three hundred years in some cases. They are a visually diverse people, whose appearance can be a myriad of shapes, sizes and colors. Some appear to be more like freshwater fish, some more like sharks, some like walruses or dolphins. All creatures who lived in the Ocean That Was were influence to the physical design of the modern Naiadi man and woman. They are comfortable on dry land and can operate quite dextrously on their own two feet, but if submerged in water, their extra fins, gills, and other appendages become apparent and aid them in swimming, breathing and seeing underwater, and operating the way their ancestors did.

A Naiadi reaches maturity at 100 years of age, and for a female Naiadi, this means the age of spawning. A Naiadi female can physically have intercourse whenever she wants, as much as she wants, but to bear children, there is only one time they can spawn to produce offspring, and it is somewhere between their hundredth year and their two hundredth year. It is different for every woman and cannot be predicted, so anyone participating in sexual activity during that time needs to be wary of consequences.

Naiadi have an affinity for flavor; their chosen sense is taste. They are famous for enjoying saltwine, a beverage of varying alcoholic content considered repulsive by most other races.

Their architecture is full of high ceilings, arched doorways, indoor waterfalls, reflecting pools, fountains, and bathing tubs. They also enjoy mirrors a great deal, being a little vain to boot.

The elemental fey related to air are called Janni. They are deeply intelligent, clever beings who love to bend and twist rules to suit their joyful, sometimes mischievous nature. Ancient stories say that once they were able to fly, to soar freely among the clouds as wild as any bird, as fast as any Pixie, but modern days have seen a change in their physiology. These days, the most a Janni can accomplish is levitation. On average, a Janni can levitate as high as their own height doubled, though some have recorded instances of Janni surpassing that thanks to extremely good health and great concentration.

Janni have a wide variety of appearances. They do not usually have the strong shoulders of their Sylvani cousins, nor the musculature of their Ifriti neighbors, but like clouds, appear in a vast range of shapes, colors, and sizes. Janni have skin colors ranging from pale snowy white to deepest, richest purple, and every shade in between. Some Janni even bear marbled skin tones, e.g. bold blue opposed by sunny yellow, or dark red balanced with light orange, and so on. Their eyes come in many colors, too, and their hair colors can be changed at will. Though many adult Janni do not enjoy promoting that skill, it is commonly fashionable among Janni youth to allow hair colors to change swiftly and violently depending on mood, setting, or weather conditions.

Janni prefer smell over all other senses. They adore perfumes, colognes, incense, scented oils, but most of all they cherish raw, real scent in the wild: rain on soil, wind and snow from the mountains, sun-warmed clean sheets on the laundry line, etc. There are many competing scentmakers in Ammingrad who are Janni; it is their greatest contest to magically capture and cultivate the ‘realest’ scents.

The high house is House Fleet, led by Jardane Fleet (Chief Director of the Wardens) and his wife Irine. Their children are Neema, Kadeas, Brella, Ulfo and Chelsi. Other famous Janni are Peer Stigli Cham of the Weather Guild, Director Deysh Dilatri of the Arcanica Guild, Tyrund Burq of the Mercantile Guild, and Evin Mykald, master of the Janni martial technique known as wind-boxing. A Janni lifespan is an interesting one. Their lives move quickly, and they are most focused on joy as their drive in life. Young Janni are inclined to outrageous parties, riots, and displays of public wildness. As they mature, this proclivity declines, but overall it is good humor and quick thinking that stir Janni’s imagination. They do not take things too seriously, at any age.

It is difficult for Janni to conceive a child, but if they do, the gestation period is very brief. Within a matter of weeks, the pregnancy (which is simultaneously experienced by both parents) has peaked, and a child can be born of its parents’ shared, exhaled breath. The newly-formed Janni child is captured in a special kind of glass container, and there they are kept while the rest of their body solidifies over the next few months. At a year they have reached a solid mass, and can be released from the jar – carefully. Janni children are notoriously fast and very easy to distract. Janni reach adulthood at age 80, but at their very oldest, Janni can live up to 500 years. When they die, Janni expire suddenly, dissolving into a fine mist or fog which hangs in the air for a little while before dissipating. “To let the window open” is a Janni idiom describing death – not unlike the human phrase “to kick the bucket.”

A halfgene is the offspring of an elemental fey and a human. The child of such a pairing will often retain traits of both parents, such as the mossy, flowery hair of its Sylvani mother, but the strong shoulders and build of its human father. Halfgenes are common among the middle and upper classes – and not all halfgenes are social outcasts or considered bastards. Many are legitimized by their fey parentage and raised with a higher quality of life than their human families could offer. These halfgenes may possess magical abilities like those of their fey family, and may attend special schools or undergo tutelage to hone those skills in special ways, as they may not develop as quickly or as surely as full blooded fey children. However, halfgenes are widely accepted as common and normal; despite any internal struggles that may arise psychologically for these children, the majority of society sees halfgenes as valid and worthy individuals, often ranking higher than their fully-human parent and family members.

Halfgenes do not occur between humans and Gobbins, Brownies, or Pixies.

Halfgenes do not occur between humans and Fairies – this pairing may produce children, but the children will either be fully human or fully Fairy – the science of this is still a mystery.

Halfgenes do not occur between humans and Seelie, or Seelie and any other fey. This is strictly taboo and does not take place. Even if it did take place, those children would be dealt with by the Dair himself.

The best way to begin to describe Gobbins is to start at the beginning, and as it would happen, the beginning of a Gobbin’s story is also the end of another Gobbin’s tale.

Around their oldest of old age (that is, between 230 and 270 years old) Gobbins become hunched, gnarled, green and flimsy, with long fine white hairs. They slow down and down like clocks not wound tightly, their limbs becoming tighter and more knotted. At some point, when they are too twisted to go on, they find a place on the earth and sit. Time passes, their bodies cover with lichen, moss, grass, and their bodies decompose into earth. After about a year, buds appear in a ‘fairy ring’ around the dead Gobbin’s mound. Little shroomy Gobbin spores sprout out of them – and the Gobbins in the community come and gather the young ones from the spores, and communally raise the children until they are able to go off on their own. If a Gobbin is killed (or does not otherwise die naturally), the life cycle is disrupted and the spores do not occur.

Gobbins are completely gender neutral until age 15. At this point it may become clear what gender the child is becoming. The genders are not particular to their reproductive cycle, however, and is more of a social choice.

What do Gobbins do when they are finally adults on their own? They try to survive. Without specific strong parent individuals, there is a fierce pragmatism to this race of fey that protects them in all situations. They are quick thinkers, deeply intelligent, and make sure that one mistake in any situation is the last mistake made – and they never forget it. They adapt very quickly. They are also tinkerers and experimenters – they are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible and what is legitimate. Cause and effect, variables and attempts.

Gobbins are able to accomplish so much, and can fit into any job – as long as it interests them. They are not as generous or caring as Brownies, not as personable as Fairies or Humans, and not as high ranking as elemental fey. They aren’t inherently brusque, but… they are more likely to be brusque than the other races.

Gobbin adults may form a partnership – a relationship understanding between two (or sometimes more) where they support one another’s livelihoods, interests, and endeavors. These relationships are put in place for structural and societal purposes rather than romantic ones. They generally don’t go in for romance, but they are capable of it and it does happen on occasion.

NOTE: There are some scholars who theorize that Gobbins and Sylvani are spiritually and fundamentally linked – earth and trees connect to caves and fungi. But there are some who argue that there is a ‘missing link’ between the two races that cannot be recovered or understood. Theories go round and round. The Sylvani would never justify this with a response, and the Gobbins are generally insulted that it would even be suggested, and yet the academic debates go on.

Brownies are one of the smaller races of fey, standing only about four feet at their very tallest. Despite their size, they mature quickly and spend the greater portion of their 200 year lifespan as full-grown adults. They are a comfortable, kind, generous people with an affinity for cooking, tinkering, and brewing – both tea and alcohol, of course. In appearance, Brownies have a kind of cuddly expression to their usually rounded features, and many have slightly more than the usual amount of hair on their head as well as other places on their bodies. Some Brownies appear rat-like, others rabbit-ish, and still others squirrelly or mousey. Even their ears may be slightly rounder or oversized, their fingers delicate and long, and their bellies rounded. Not unlike their distant rodent cousins, Brownies may come in a variety of colors from pale peachy white to tan, to brown, to black.

Brownies are clever, well-spoken creatures with a knack for reading emotions and providing sympathy. Many Brownies are in the cuisine, hospitality, and general service industries. They are very fine knitters and tailors, and are often employed by higher families as house servants in various capacities.

It is not uncommon for Brownies to be as high up in society as being on the board of directors for various schools or guilds. In fact, Camerin Dusely is head of the Arcanica Guild’s Marketing and Public Relations departments, as well as a trimaster of Hollyhollow College of Magic.

Their family life is similar to that of humans: they marry young and bear a number of children in their time. As their children mature and leave the house, Brownie parents may continue to bear more children every several years to replace them in the ‘nest’ so to speak. Brownies tend to bear multiples, usually of the fraternal sort. When an older Brownie passes away, their whole family flocks to that home and everyone has a great feast of celebration, followed by a roaring hearth and long talks and dancing and storytelling into the night.

Not to be confused with the tiny, winged Pixies, Fairies are average-sized fey, the closest of any fey race to humans in appearance. Their skin is a range of color from pale pink to dark brown, just like humans, but they do have pronounced pointed ears as do all fey races. Like humans, Fairies are considered primarily lower class citizens, and make up much of the working class in the city of Ammingrad. They are excellent house servants, factory workers, and farmers. There are Fairies engaged in work and business in every industry in the realm. Although it is rare for a Fairy to be fully recognized as a leader, there are many Fairies who serve the city on various guild councils and civic organizations.

Fairies possess standard levels of inherent magic. Menial, mundane things such as levitation, transformation, or temporary creation of objects, for example, come easily to them. Their quick and steady hands make them excellent tailors and menders of machinery. They excel at carpentry and architecture as well. Many Fairies find themselves comfortably employed by the Wardens, patrolling the streets and working in the head offices of various Warden stations throughout Ammingrad. They are a hard-working people, determined to succeed in their chosen fields.

If and when Fairies settle down to a family life, it is similar to that of their human neighbors. It is unusual for a Fairy to wed or mate with a higher class of fey, but this is a modern time, and it is not entirely unheard of. The child of a union between an upperclass fey and a Fairy will be born as full-blood of whatever their higher-fey parentage is. For example, a child born of a Janni and a Fairy will be born fully Janni. But a child whose parents are Fairy and human will either be full-human or full-Fairy – there is no halfgene for this genetic combination.

Pixies are small, fast, and short-lived. They have sheer, delicate wings, significant strength, and excellent short term memory. Pixies primarily exist in Warda as messengers, observers, servants, and delivery persons.

Pixies are traditionally viewed as less than their ‘big folk’ neighbors and masters. Pixies are often considered belongings of their fey masters, or as pets. A well-off middle or upper class house or family may employ a number of Pixies to work for them privately and exclusively. It is also common that Pixies join the Pixie Messenger Union or perhaps work for a certain department of a guild or the Wardens even. There are Pixies woven into every level of Wardian life, and yet by the other fey they are utterly overlooked as individuals. A Pixie is a Pixie is a Pixie. And that’s that.

…but to a more discerning scholar, there’s more information to be found.

Pixies don’t make their own homes or houses – they find or inherit them like hermit crabs. Perhaps a shoe, or a flower pot, or an old bird’s nest in the eave of some big folk’s house.

Pixies exist in the space between space in a big people’s world – they do not have a ‘country’ of their own. They tell bedtime stories about whole pixie hollows in trees and forests beyond the walls, where everything is built and owned by pixies, and nothing is owned by the big folk, and they live as free as flowers and birds all their lives long.

Pixie marriage does not conform to gender roles or gender categories – any two (or more) Pixies can be ‘married’ as a partnership. Families don’t really form, but deep partnerships do, hence pixie marriage. Plural Pixie marriage is not unheard of or shocking, but it is uncommon – most Pixies don’t have that much free time to be married to more than one person.

Pixies are born and do not remember it. Pixies give birth to children, but the gestation period is so brief (less than a few hours) and in a few more hours, those parents may not even remember that it has happened (like thinking back to last year and trying to remember what days you were sick – it’s vague and unimportant). Pixie procreation happens sometimes between two Pixies who come together, like a fusion of souls in a magical encounter, and conception occurs spontaneously from that union. A baby Pixie is called a speck and a mother keeps it for three days, before the speck is grown enough to go off on its own. Thus departed, the parent shakes off the euphoria of birth and goes back to work, the memory gone as though a brief illness.

Some Pixies believe that there is a maker, a creator. This is not universal but many silently believe and understand that someone out there made pixies, and makes them still to this day. A seelie, a god. The “so-and-so” they call it. They look at the world around them and see only a grander design, a purpose somehow. A meaning behind their tiny size and incredible speed – their disabilities in the face of the bigger world around them. Many see the so-and-so as an explanation for their size and purpose, but many do not read any further into it than a cultural subtext.

Before the fey walked out of the woods, humans were the dominant race of Warda. They lived in tribes and villages all across the land, governing themselves and fighting between nations for territory and resources. Then the fey came, and the whole world was changed.

Today, humans are considered the lowest of all the races in the Dairswyn. Their lifespans are the second-lowest (next to Pixies) and they possess no innate magical abilities whatsoever. This has led historians and scientists alike to conclude that humanity was never meant to rule Warda as kings, yielding that divine right to the fey when they emerged in this world some four thousand years ago. Humans, although utterly mundane, are sturdy despite their mortal features and can withstand a great deal of hard labor if need be. They are survivors, adapting to any terrain and any circumstances.

Perhaps their most admired trait, they widely possess a deeply intuitive sense of invention and imagination, something the fey lack considerably. It is a well known fact that the Mechanica Guild’s Patent Offices are constantly filled with queues and queues of humans with new ideas, new inventions, new devices ready to be pitched at the Guild directors for production. It is much more rare to find a full-blooded fey standing in those lines awaiting their chance for greatness. Humans are simply more adept at coming up with new concepts and connecting those concepts together in a functional way.

Their average height is between five and six feet, and their skin tones range from dark to pale, with every shade in between. Their eye colors tend to be gray, blue, brown, black, hazel, or green, and their hair colors range from dark black to light blonde. They come in many shapes and sizes as well. Humans are diverse in appearance, personality, and skills. They are admirably competent at most tasks set to them, and are the majority of the working forces of Ammingrad and Amminheim across many different industries and businesses.